As the month proceeds, the Sun climbs through the stars of
Taurus until around 09h on the 21st, when it crosses the border into Gemini, the Solstice having occurred on June 20th at 21h44. The Earth-Sun distance is 152,028,935 km. At this time. The solstice
marks the astronomical start of summer in the northern hemisphere, and the beginning of winter in the southern. Thus takes place the longest day and shortest night for us here in the UK, and thereafter night length increases once again. The season of summer
lasts about 94 days. In the northern UK, there is no true night, and at astronomical midnight, the sky is not black but of a beautiful velvet deep blue, merging to turquoise on the northern horizon. Don’t forget to look out for Noctilucent Clouds in
the hour before and after midnight, as they catch the light of the sun, which is not very far below the northern horizon at this time of year.
Moon is at apogee (furthest from the Earth) on June 15th at 01h. Lunar diameter: 30 minutes of arc.
(nearest to the Earth) is on the 3rd, at 04h. Lunar diameter: 32 minutes of arc. A second perigee occurs on June 30th at 02h.
Full Moon is at 19h13
on the 5th.There is a penumbral eclipse centred on this time visible from Australia, Asia, Africa and Europe. As ever with penumbral lunar eclipses, it is a feeble affair as the southern parts of the Moon dip into the partial shadow of the Earth.
In the UK the penumbral eclipse is ending at moonrise. It is in the constellation of Ophiuchus, and is the lowest Full Moon of this year.
Last Quarter Moon is on the 13th at 06h24 in
the constellation of Taurus.
New Moon occurs on the 21st, at 06h42 when the Moon passes in front of the Sun. For observers in SE Asia, northern India, Saudi Arabia and central Africa
an annular eclipse takes place. In the UK the Moon passes 0.75° to the south of the sun at sunrise on the Orion/Taurus/Gemini border.
First Quarter is on the 28th at 08h16 in the
constellation of Virgo.
Look for Earthshine on the waxing crescent Moon from the 22nd to the 27th on the waning crescent Moon for the 14th to the 19th
Mercury is at greatest elongation east of the Sun (24°) on the 4th. thereafter it moves in towards
inferior conjunction, which takes place on July 1st. The best chance to view Mercury is during the first half on June, where it may be seen in the twilight of the NW sky. The planet sets 2 hours after the Sun during the first few days of June, but
this rapidly decreases as the month progresses.
In mythology, Hermes carried Apollo on his chariot through the night. The planet in its morning apparition was called Apollo, the harbinger of sunrise. The evening
apparition of the planet is called appropriately Hermes, the Greek equivalent of Mercury.
The reign of Venus as the ‘Evening Star’, Hesperus, has come to an end and inferior conjunction
with the Sun takes place on the 3rd. Thereafter the planet slowly emerges into morning twilight as the brilliant 'Phosphorus' (‘Morning Star’), rising one and three-quarter hours before the end of the month. On the 19th, Venus
is occulted by the thin waning crescent Moon at 08h. In the UK this is a very difficult occultation to observe because of the proximity of the Sun, in a daylight sky. In order to observe the event you must have specialised telescopic equipment, and practice
Mars rises at 01h at the beginning of June, but by astronomical midnight at the end of the month. It continues to brighten from magnitude 0.0 on June 1st, to -0.5 on
the 30th. As the month progresses Mars moves eastwards through the constellation of Aquarius and is in conjunction with Neptune on the 13th, passing 1.6°south of the remote planet. During the early morning of the same day the last
quarter Moon passes 2.5° south of Mars.
Jupiter dominates the early morning sky and culminates (crosses the south meridian) at 03h. It lies in the eastern part of Sagittarius with Saturn, the
dimmer of the two, less than 10° to the east in Capricornus. The difference in magnitude is noticeable; Jupiter, the brighter of the two, is at magnitude minus 2.7, whereas Saturn is at magnitude +0.2. Jupiter rises before midnight as June starts and rises
soon after sunset at the month’s end. During the early morning of the 9th, the gibbous waning Moon may be seen passing a couple of degrees south of the two planets as the trio rises at 0h.
worth looking through binoculars or a small telescope to observe the dance of the Galilean satellites, which change position on a nightly basis.
Saturn, in the constellation of Capricornus the Sea
Goat, also rises before midnight during June, and, as has been mentioned earlier, lies to the east of Jupiter. The northern surfaces of the rings are still favourably placed for observation through a small telescope, although they are beginning to ‘close’
now. You may also try to spot the planet’s largest satellite Titan, visual magnitude +8, through a telescope at this time. The greatest eastern elongation of Titan, (200 seconds of arc from Saturn) is on the 3rd and the 19th, and
greatest western elongation is on the 11th and 27th. At 03h on the 9th, the gibbous waning Moon passes 2.6° to the south of Saturn.
Uranus in the constellation
of Aries is best looked for at the end of the month, when it rises at 01h. However, it is a magnitude +6 object and increasing morning twilight may prove to be a barrier to observation of this remote world. Information about its celestial position is to be
found in the Remote Planets pages of these Sky Notes.
Neptune in Aquarius rises slightly earlier than Uranus during this month, and at the dimmer magnitude of +8 is a difficult object to observe
If you wish to observe the International Space Station, apparition times may be found at:
Remember to put in your location coordinates. There is an Android application called Heavens-Above.
Constellations visible in the south around midnight, mid-month, are as follows: Ophiuchus, Serpens Cauda, Hercules,
and the head of Draco the dragon, which is near the zenith.
All times are GMT (Universal Time, UT) PLEASE REMEMBER TO ADD ONE HOUR TO ALL THE TIMES GIVEN FOR BST(LOCAL TIME)
1° is one finger width at arm’s length.
of the month : June 2020
Times are given in UT for SCARBOROUGH (0° 25' 0" W, 54° 16' 3" N, zone 0).
Date Hour Description of the phenomenon
yyyy mm dd hh:mm
2020 06 02 17:08 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
03 03:36 Moon at perigee (geocentric dist. = 364366 km)
2020 06 03 17:44 INFERIOR CONJUNCTION of Venus with the Sun (geoc. dist. centre to centre = 0.5°)
2020 06 04 18:00
GREATEST EASTERN ELONGATION of Mercury (23.6°)
2020 06 04 23:28 Maximum of the variable star delta Cephei
2020 06 05 13:57 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 06 05 19:12 FULL MOON (penumbral eclipse of the Moon partly visible in SCARBOROUGH)
2020 06 05 21:41 Minimum of the variable star beta Lyrae
2020 06 06 08:05 Maximum of the variable star eta Aquilae
2020 06 08 10:46 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 06 09 20:05 Maximum of the variable
star zeta Gemini
2020 06 10 01:30 Beginning of occultation of 25-chi Cap (magn. = 5.30)
2020 06 10 08:16 Maximum of the variable star delta Cephei
2020 06 11 07:35 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 06 12 02:28 Beginning of occultation of 71-tau2 Aqr (magn. = 4.05)
2020 06 13 01:57 Close encounter
between the Moon and Mars (topocentric dist. centre to centre = 3.4°)
2020 06 13 03:21 Close encounter between the Moon and Neptune (topocentric dist. centre to centre = 5.0°)
2020 06 13 06:23 LAST QUARTER OF THE MOON
2020 06 13 12:03 Close encounter between Mars and Neptune (topocentric dist. centre to centre = 1.6°)
2020 06 13 12:19
Maximum of the variable star eta Aquilae
2020 06 14 04:24 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 06 15 00:56 Moon at apogee (geocentric dist. = 404595 km)
2020 06 15 17:03 Maximum of the variable star delta Cephei
2020 06 17 01:12 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 06 18 20:15
Minimum of the variable star beta Lyrae
2020 06 19 07:42 Beginning of occultation of Vénus (magn. = -4.19)
2020 06 19 08:49 End of occultation of Vénus (magn.
2020 06 19 22:01 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 06 19 23:41 Maximum of the variable star zeta Gemini
06 20 16:33 Maximum of the variable star eta Aquilae
2020 06 20 21:44 SUMMER SOLSTICE
2020 06 21 01:50 Maximum of the variable star delta Cephei
2020 06 21 06:41 NEW MOON (annular eclipse of the Sun not visible in SCARBOROUGH)
2020 06 22 18:50 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 06 23 04:00
Mercury at its aphelion (distance to the Sun = 0.46670 AU)
2020 06 25 15:39 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 06 26 10:37 Maximum of the variable star
2020 06 26 22:41 Meteor shower : June Bootids (duration = 11.0 days)
2020 06 27 20:47 Maximum of the variable star eta Aquilae
2020 06 27 22:57 Opposition of the asteroid 7 Iris with the Sun (dist. to the Sun = 2.637 AU; magn. = 8.8)
2020 06 28 08:16 FIRST QUARTER OF THE MOON
2020 06 28 12:27
Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 06 28 16:11 Opposition of the asteroid 56 Melete with the Sun (dist. to the Sun = 2.005 AU; magn. = 10.4)
2020 06 30
02:09 Moon at perigee (geocentric dist. = 368958 km)
2020 06 30 03:17 Maximum of the variable star zeta Gemini
2020 06 30 06:34 Close encounter between Jupiter and Pluto
(topocentric dist. centre to centre = 0.7°)
Generated using COELIX APEX software